A discussion on the ongoing struggle in Myanmar/Burma and how we can stand in solidarity with the protest movement resisting oppression with Ronan Lee, Jed Din, Allen Jennings and Habib.
The following statement from the Australia Burma Rohingya Organisation was read by Habib to a solidarity protest in Melbourne on September 7.
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Today we raise our voices on behalf of the oppressed Rohingya and Kaman people, who are facing ongoing genocide in the Rakhine [Arakan] state of western Myanmar [Burma].
We are also protesting the continuous wars being waged against minorities in the Shan and Kachin states.
The entire population of Burma supported Aung San Suu Kyi when she fought to get rid of the military dictatorship of Burma (Myanmar) during the 1990s. She received tremendous support from all communities, including non-Buddhist ethnicities and Muslim communities. No one considered what her policy on other religions and ethnic areas was. People just wanted to get rid of the regime.
Early in January, the Sa-Ka-Kha-9 military division based near the ancient Falom village seized about 50 houses and a mosque that had been built at the village's edge. It is one of 36 that are Rohingyan (a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority) in the Kyauktaw township in the western Burmese Arakan state along the Kaladan River. These lands had been re-bought from the military by Falom villagers. For 17 years, until re-buying the land, the village consisted of 280 houses and some farm lands. The mosque was demolished by the military in 1995.